Antibiotic Choice and Clinical Outcomes in Ambulatory Children with Community-Acquired Pneumonia.

Year of Publication


Date Published

2020 Oct 09

ISSN Number



<p><strong>OBJECTIVES: </strong>To describe antibiotic prescribing patterns in ambulatory children with community acquired pneumonia, and to assess the relationship between antibiotic selection and clinical outcomes.</p>

<p><strong>STUDY DESIGN: </strong>This was a retrospective cohort study of ambulatory Medicaid-enrolled children 0-18 years of age diagnosed with CAP from 2010-2016. The exposure was antibiotic class: narrow-spectrum (aminopenicillins), broad-spectrum (amoxicillin/clavulanate and cephalosporins), macrolide monotherapy, macrolides with narrow-spectrum antibiotics, or macrolides with broad-spectrum antibiotics. The associations between antibiotic selection and the outcomes of subsequent hospitalization and development of severe pneumonia (chest drainage procedure, intensive care admission, mechanical ventilation) were assessed, controlling for measures of illness severity.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Among 252,177 outpatient pneumonia visits, macrolide monotherapy was used in 43.2%, narrow-spectrum antibiotics in 26.1%, and broad-spectrum antibiotics in 24.7%. A total of 1488 children (0.59%) were subsequently hospitalized and 117 (0.05%) developed severe pneumonia. Compared with children receiving narrow-spectrum antibiotics, the odds of subsequent hospitalization were higher in children receiving broad-spectrum antibiotics (aOR=1.34 [95%CI 1.17-1.52]) and lower in children receiving macrolide monotherapy (aOR=0.64 [95%CI 0.55-0.73]) and macrolides with narrow-spectrum antibiotics (aOR=0.62 [95%CI 0.39-0.97]). Children receiving macrolide monotherapy had lower odds of developing severe pneumonia than children receiving narrow-spectrum antibiotics (aOR=0.56, 95%CI 0.33-0.93). However, the absolute risk difference was &lt;0.5% for all analyses.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Macrolides are the most commonly prescribed antibiotic for ambulatory children with CAP. Subsequent hospitalization and severe pneumonia are rare. Future efforts should focus on reducing broad-spectrum and macrolide antibiotic prescribing.</p>



Alternate Title

J Pediatr




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